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Pitching the Book Publisher (The Non-Fiction Book Proposal)  at BlogHer '13
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Pitching the Book Publisher (The Non-Fiction Book Proposal) at BlogHer '13

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Pitching the Book Publisher (The Non-Fiction Book Proposal) at BlogHer '13

Pitching the Book Publisher (The Non-Fiction Book Proposal) at BlogHer '13

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  • 1. Pitch Your Work for Publication: Pitching the Book Publisher (The Non-Fiction Book Proposal)
  • 2. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Pitch Your Work for Publication Pitching the Book Publisher (The Non-Fiction Book Proposal) #BH13Book MIKE ADAMICK, MikeAdamick.com SARAH GRANGER, SarahGranger.com, @sarahgranger INSTRUCTORS
  • 3. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required The Pitch Process • Generate Book Idea(s) • Research Agents & Publishers • Query Agents & Publishers • Write a Great Book Proposal • Woo an Agent • Secure a Publishing Contract
  • 4. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required The Real Process • Generate Idea 1 • Query Agents • Some Interest • Agent Courtship 1 • Generate Idea 2 • (Rinse, Repeat) • Generate Idea 3 • Meet Agent • Agent Courtship • Publisher Queries • Success!
  • 5. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Doing the Proposal Dance • Connection / Introduction to Agent • Initial Query • (Agent Requests Proposal) • Proposal Submission • (Agent Requests Edits) • Proposal Update(s) + Additional Chapters • (Agent Reviews) • Agent Offers Contract
  • 6. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Required Sections for Proposals Title + Subtitle, Contact Overview - Format - Market - Author Platform - About the Author - Promotion - Comparative Works Table of Contents Chapter Outline Sample Chapter(s)
  • 7. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Title Page • Catchy Title • Informative Subtitle • Byline • Photo (if presentable) • Foreword Author (if applicable) • Contact: Name, Address, Phone, E-mail
  • 8. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Overview • Meat of Proposal • Enticing Introduction, Story • Synopsis of Book Concept • Author Highlights
  • 9. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Format • Standard Required Information • Number of Words and/or Pages • Style of Writing • Format Details (Sidebars, Lists, Graphics, Images)
  • 10. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Market (Target Audience) • Who Will Buy the Book? • Any Relevant Stats? • What Are Her/His Demographics? • What Publications Does S/he Read? • What Are Her Interests/Hobbies?
  • 11. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Author Platform • Other Books Written or Contributed to by Author • Articles Written by Author • Blogs by Author • Other Writing, Editing • Social Media Presence • Speaking & Media Experience * Include Numbers! Readership, Followers, Friends
  • 12. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required About the Author • Author‟s Story, Connection to Book Subject • More About Her Writing Expertise • Professional Experience / History • Details About Speaking Experience • Accolades, Awards, Buzz
  • 13. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Promotion • What the Author Promises S/he Will Do! • Using Existing Platform & Network (Name Names) • Reaching Out to All Forms of Media (Print, TV, Radio, Online) • Publish Excerpts, Articles, Blog Posts, Op-Eds • Dedicated Website & E-mail List • Speaking Tour (Give Specific Cities, Events)
  • 14. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Comparative Works • 4 – 8 Similar Books, Titles (No More, No Less) • Publication in Past 5 Years • Publishers, Number of Pages, Pricing, Years • Why They‟re Comparable – Subjects, Sales • Why They‟re Different • Why Your Book is Unique
  • 15. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Table of Contents • Listing from Inside Future Book • Names of Chapters • Number of Pages Per Chapter
  • 16. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Chapter Outline • Detailed Description of Each Book Chapter • Two Written Paragraphs Per Chapter • Summaries of What Will Be Covered • Highlights from Chapter Content • Example Anecdotes
  • 17. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Sample Chapter(s) • In Lieu of a Full Manuscript • Usually First Chapter • Sometimes Plus One or Two More • Must Be Formatted as Described in „Format‟ • Must Be Well-Written • Must Captivate the Reader
  • 18. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Typical Reasons for Rejection • Market Too Small for Traditional Publisher • Idea Unclear • Not Enough Material for a Book • Writing Quality Poor • Not Enough Experience Writing • Not Right Fit for Agent‟s Particular Expertise
  • 19. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Biggest Hurdles • Query Itself Can Be Daunting • Agents Often Want Proposal Sections with Different Emphasis • Comps Can Sneak Up on You • Sample Chapter is a Beast • Writing, Editing, Rewriting (& Getting Lost) • Proposal & Courtship Process Can Take Years • Traditional Publishing is SLOOOOOOOOW!
  • 20. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Keys to Proposal Success 1. Great Idea 2. Clear, Descriptive Writing 3. Solid Platform 4. Good Organization 5. Flexibility / Willingness to Edit, Change 6. Perseverance
  • 21. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Online Resources Parts of an Irresistible Book Proposal http://www.larsenpomada.com/the-parts-of-an-irresistible-book- proposal/ 8 Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-8-essential-elements- of-a-nonfiction-book-proposal
  • 22. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Book Resources Get Known before the Book Deal by Christina Katz How to Write Irresistible Query Letters by Lisa Collier Cool Write the Perfect Book Proposal by Jeff Herman & Deborah Levine Herman How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen
  • 23. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Eye openers during the process You will not have fancy lunches with your agent. Maybe. You will have to work your ass off. Then get rejected. Then work your ass off some more. Then probably get rejected. The most important thing: Keep writing.
  • 24. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required More eye openers Not all agents and editors use the same proposal format. Overview, marketing, bio, marketplace (three examples), chapter outline, sample chapters.
  • 25. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Different ways to find agents Write something spectacular for a big time publication. This also applies to editors. It happens. A massive social media presence or any shitty TV platform can also be good enough … because the Pulitzer board is just DYING for the next Snooki book, right?
  • 26. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Go straight to the editor Smaller presses often accept submissions without agents. Find one that has published in your area and reach out to editor. Do your own contracts and save all the money! Or have a contracts lawyer look at it for a one-time fee, as opposed to 15 percent for life.
  • 27. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Evolve evolve evolve and work harder A Dude‟s Guide to Getting Married Hitched – a Dude‟s Guide to Getting Married Hitched Oh Baby
  • 28. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Evolve some more… Oh Baby – A Dad‟s Adventures in Parenting A New Dad‟s Adventures in Parenting A Year Ago Today A Year At Home The Stay-at-Home Dad‟s Guide to Parenting Dad on the Rocks On the Rocks
  • 29. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Holy shit, this STILL isn‟t working? Circus Clowns and Other Shit That Scares Me. Yes. Seriously.
  • 30. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Some more evolving…. As Seen on TV – A Year in the Life of a TV Goods Junkie Neat – At Home and on the Rocks Neat And finally … after several years … an editor drops a line out of the blue and …
  • 31. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required I got a BOOK! Dad‟s Book of Awesome Projects 2014 – The Family Lab – Kitchen Sink Science Experiments for the Whole Family 2015 – Dad‟s Book of MORE Awesome Projects
  • 32. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required And then the marketing begins It does not matter how big or small your publisher is. You will do the bulk of all the marketing. Suck it up and get it done. Be creative. And have fun.
  • 33. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required The takeaway … Work hard. Abandon your babies if no one‟s buying them. Find an agent you can trust – someone who will tell you what‟s going to sell and what‟s just not going to work. Keep writing. Keep writing.
  • 34. #BH13Book INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Pitch Your Work for Publication Pitching the Book Publisher (The Non-Fiction Book Proposal) #BH13Book MIKE ADAMICK, MikeAdamick.com SARAH GRANGER, SarahGranger.com, @sarahgranger INSTRUCTORS
  • 35. “BlogHer is a snake meal of ideas in a wonton wrapper of love. Afterwards you need a 2- day nap, then it nourishes you for a year.” – @debontherocks